Monreale Cathedral (Duomo di Monreale)
Dominating the small town of Monreale, the Duomo, or Cathedral, clings to the slopes of Monte Caputo above the Golden Valley (Conca d’Oro), just 9 miles (15 kilometers) south of Palermo. Go inside to marvel at the exquisite Byzantine mosaics that cover 68,889 square feet (6,400 square meters) of the walls and ceiling, depicting religious scenes. The sumptuous art continues in the complex’s abbey cloister, lined with more than 200 intricately carved double columns adorned in colorful mosaics.
To save time at the entrance, book your admission ticket online in advance. Palermo sightseeing and street food tours often include an excursion to the Duomo, part of the UNESCO-listed group of nine Arab-Norman cathedrals in Palermo, Cefalù, and Monreale. Alternatively, visit from Taormina or Cefalù.
Recent reviews from experiences in Palermo
Things to Know Before You Go
Though the Duomo is a must for art and architecture buffs, you don’t have to be a culture aficionado to be impressed by its grandeur.
Modest clothing covering the shoulders and knees is required to enter the cathedral.
The cathedral and abbey are accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Though Monreale is just a short drive from Palermo, parking can be hard to find. Get there by bus, boarding at Palermo’s Piazza Indipendenza, or join a guided tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
The Duomo is open every day. As Monreale is a popular day-trip destination, visit the Duomo in the early morning or late afternoon for fewer crowds.
Highlights of the Duomo of Monreale
Many travelers go to the Duomo to see the vast 12th-century mosaics inside. Inspired by stories from the Old and New Testaments, the Byzantine masterpieces are made with millions of shimmering gold and vibrantly colored glass tiles. Look for the scenes depicting Noah’s ark, the banishment from the Garden of Eden, and Christ healing a person with leprosy.
- Things to do in Sicily
- Things to do in Agrigento
- Things to do in Catania
- Things to do in Taormina
- Things to do in Messina
- Things to do in Syracuse
- Things to do in Mellieha
- Things to do in Valletta
- Things to do in Capri
- Things to do in Sorrento
- Things to do in Positano
- Things to do in Naples
- Things to do in Rome
- Things to do in Amalfi Coast
- Things to do in Lazio